One of the defining features of the Dark Powers is that they reward acts that sow sorrow, discord, or blasphemy. These “rewards” are a rising corruption within the individual that are often double edged.
Making a Powers Check
- The DM calls for a Powers Check and sets a secret target number based on what the character did. (Targets will typically be VERY low for “justifiable” evils such as lying to save someone, or acting in self defense.)
- The DM rolls d%.
- If the DM rolled above the target, nothing happens. If they rolled at or below, the reward is revealed the first time it comes in to play.
If You Failed
- You will gain a supernatural ability that both benefits and hinders you.
- Your corruption will be visible to Divine Senses and Detect Evil and Good. You can resist this as described in Modifications to Magic.
- With each failure, the target for future Powers Checks is reduced. (It typically requires greater depravity to continue failing.)
- If you fail multiple Powers Checks, you may be “rewarded” with your own domain in Ravenloft.
Examples of Powers Check Possible Activities
Powers checks will be called for both big and small things. The DC will depend on the severity of the action and the character’s justifications.
- Being cruel to animals
- Blaspheming a religion
- Uttering a Curse
- Breaking an Oath or Vow
- Killing sentient beings (Including self defense)
- Creating an undead creature
Examples of “Rewards”
Rewards from the Dark Powers will often reflect the crime that earned them and possibly build on previous gifts.
- The character’s flesh hardens, giving a permanent +2 Natural Armor bonus, but also inflicting disadvantage on all Dexterity saves.
- Shadows start bending to the will of the character, granting advantage on stealth checks in areas that are not brightly lit. However the character strikes everyone as being untrustworthy and has disadvantage on all Persuasion and Deception checks to deny a crime. (Whether or not they committed it.)
- Necromatic energy infuses the character and they become invisible to unintelligent undead as long as they aren’t attacking them. However clerics that Turn Undead will also affect the character.
- The character gains an unusual talent for inflicting pain. Their proficiency bonus is added to any damage dealt, but others attack the character with minimal provocation.
- The character becomes unusually adept at lying and gains advantage on Deception checks. However once a lie has been spoken, the character can not recant it. Any attempts to “come clean” strike the character mute before they can speak. The muteness lasts for 1d10 hours. Written and symbolic confessions are similarly affected.